Urgently Seeking Mobile

mobile-searchGoogle has been hinting at the need for a fully responsive site for the past year and has been pushing the page speed for a very long time. For the past several years, DWG has been working on page speeds and warning about the effects not optimizing your images has on your search results.

In June of this year, Google hinted that it will be using mobile page speed as the major key metric in ranking mobile pages in mobile search results. Google’s Gary Illyes said that the use of page speed was in the “planning phase.” We interpret this that Google is also combining the relationship between speed and responsiveness.

At the moment, because of the Google’s algorithm when a site (mobile or desktop) is speed optimized, then the site is not penalized in its ranking. This will soon change, as a mobile-specific page speed will be a significant factor in the ranking algorithm.

Google has also confirmed that it is working on a completely separate mobile search index which is likely to be launched when Google updates its mobile-friendly algorithm. This means that if you do not have a fully responsive site, you are looking at double the amount of work for optimizing your web search ranking.

We expect based on what we are hearing that this may happen in mid-fall. But what’s the moral of this story? It’s never to early to plan as this will have a significant impact.

Dream Warrior Group Attends the 2016 Theatre Bay Area Conference in San Francisco

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This last Monday Dream Warrior Group spent an uncharacteristically sunny day in Berkeley for the 2016 Theatre Bay Area Conference. Along with other sponsors we spent the day talking to performing arts and cultural organizations, many of them from Northern California, about their web presence, ticketing and CRM challenges. There was great spirit in the multiple sessions that ranged from “Speed Consulting” to a “Playwriting Cabaret.” The fact that the hashtag was #tBACON16 had no impact on our attendance. But bacon is delicious.

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Dream Warrior Group Attends the 2016 Arts Reach Conference in NYC

artsreachnycollageDream Warrior Group recently attended the 2016 Arts Reach Conference in New York from March 17th to 19th. This visit was filled with pleasant introductions, presentations, and one on one’s with many arts organizations. DWG presented about Understanding the Lurker’s Journey and the New Mobile Paradigm.

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During these presentations and one on one’s, DWG shared technological recommendations to a room full of enthusiastic listeners. It was a pleasure to have the opportunity to share some of our web expertise and of course we had to stop at the iconic Statue of Liberty while in the big apple.

Why is a Fully Responsive Web Site Vital?

Nami:  “Well, IT JUST IS.”

Now, a bit more detail because you are probably wondering why Nami, our CTO and all-around problem solver and wizard has come to this conclusion.

What is it? – Responsive design refers to your site’s ability to adjust to fit any screen size, whether the site is being viewed on a desktop, laptop, tablet or smart phone. Responsive design is one of the highest priorities for any web site.

User-friendly – There are numerous studies and data pieces you can find through a search that talk to you about the increase in use of mobile devices.  While there may be some debate about the amount of actual commerce happening on mobile, there is no debate that it is growing.  Your visitors demand an easy to view site or they will go elsewhere or express their distress. A user-friendly responsive site has these characteristics:

• Everything visual loads quickly – resizing appropriately within the viewable space
• Text is appropriately sized for the device and flows within the viewable space
• Content format changes seamlessly within the viewable space
• The basic mouse functionality of the site becomes thumb functions (e.g. mouse over)
• Useful mobile information (e.g. phone number, links) are easily accessible and clickable

Case Responsive is no longer enough – While even two years ago, a case responsive site (meaning that select pages were served to mobile devices) was meeting the needs of the mobile user – they no longer do.  Gone are the days when stripes or bands of content are enough, visitors demand everything and if designed properly can see and do everything.  (Particularly those of us who have slightly larger phones.)

Google The importance of mobile search means that your site must be available in an easily accessible, size appropriate form on mobile devices, and tablets. If the site isn’t responsive, mobile users will have a hard time viewing and navigating, which can result in Google lowering your ranking in their search. Google’s recent updates (search algorithm) indicate “mobile friendly” prioritization.

What happens if I say no? – First and foremost, you may lose business.  Even if that does not prove to be a significant loss, the public perception of your business could become old and out of touch.  This usually translates to a shift in user type away from the younger users which demand the latest on their mobile viewing environment.

So, as Nami said at the beginning “A responsive site is vital.”

Google hopes to make browsing more secure

search-13476_640According to the Google webmaster blog, Google has been strongly encouraging HTTPS on all sites (no longer just e-commerce). Google hopes to make browsing more secure by showing HTTPS pages in search results with a bit more prominence. HTTPS stands for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure, which is a secure version of HTTP. This is the process in which data gets sent between your browser and the website you are visiting in a secure fashion using a Secure Socket Layer (SSL). Google will now be modifying their index system in order to seek more HTTPS pages. On the blog it lists in detail what will cause Google to choose to index the HTTPS URL. Google suggests redirecting your HTTP site to your HTTPS version and implementing the appropriate header. To get the highest Google ranking, you need to consider adding a SSL to your site this year, which includes the cost of SSL certificate and installation, and maybe a dedicated IP if you don’t have one already. The cost will vary but is generaly not prohibitive. Let us know if we can provide support.

For more information about this Google update, visit the Google webmaster blog here. If you have any questions regarding this update feel free to contact us and visit our website at www.dreamwarrior.com.

 

Dream Warrior Group Attends the 2015 Arts Reach Conference in San Francisco

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Dream Warrior Group recently attended the Fall 2015 National Arts Marketing, Development & Ticketing Conference in San Francisco from October 22nd to Saturday, October 24th. This visit was filled with warm introductions, presentations and shared experiences in the world of arts organizations. DWG presented about Understanding the Lurker’s Journey and the New Mobile Paradigm. Here at DWG, we know how important it is to convert visitors to buyers/donors as well as increased mobile and tablet usage.

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During a lunch with the experts Q&A, DWG shared technological recommendations to a table full of eager listeners. It was truly an unforgettable experience and we are so glad to have had the opportunity to share some of our web expertise.

 

 

 

 

 

DWG Attends the 2015 “Lamp Meets 30” Fall Affair

Our CEO, LaMae Weber, CTO, Nami Ataee, and our CCO, Linda Ortiz attended the 2015 “Lamp Meets 30” Fall Affair benefit on October 14th, 2015 at the Taglyan Complex. The event host for the event was, Sam Rubin of KTLA. Lamp Community raised over $200,000 and the evening was a great success. DWG is proud to give back to the community by supporting Lamp Community.

Our CEO, LaMae Weber, the host of the event – Sam Rubin of KTLA, and our CCO , Linda Ortiz.

 

Choosing the best video player for your project

When incorporating video on your website, it is essential to choose the best video player for your website and your content. Your video player should have a quick loading time, offer HD quality and should inspire users to take action. If you choose an optimal video player then users will be more likely to share your content as well as click on ads.  According to a Kaltura White Paper, when choosing the best video platform it is important to ensure your video player has these key components:

Quick Loading Time: If your video takes a long time to load you will lose viewers and people won’t stay to watch your entire video. According to the Kaltura White Paper, after two seconds people lose patience and anything past that time increases abandonment rate.

Responsive Videos: The world has become highly technical and a majority of society uses smart phones, tablets, and many other technological devices with different screen sizes. It is just as essential to have a website that is responsive on all devices as it is to have responsive video. Many times if a viewer visits a website that has video and it cannot be played on their smart phone or it looks distorted they abandon ship and move on to a website that does allow for easy viewing. If your video player cannot deliver video to any device you will lose a lot of viewers due to a lack of convenience.

Ability to Maximize Monetization: Your video player should allow the opportunity to monetize your video content with ease. Digital ads are becoming more and more prominent daily and it could be beneficial to take advantage of these opportunities. In order to do this your video player needs to allow for transparent delivery of your ads. Some people op to use YouTube and other free video sharing sites to monetize their content. While this may be an easy option, it also results in a loss of revenue because you have to give whichever video sharing site you are using a portion of your profits. When you cut out the middle man you are more in control of your profits from ads because you are dealing with advertisers directly.

Customizable Video:  Consistent branding across multiple platforms is central to an online strategy and that is why it is vital to be able to customize your video player to have similar colors and fonts to your website/brand. When you use a professional video platform you will have more freedom in customization. Most times free players have a distinct look and may clash with your brand’s appearance. Also you want to be able to drive traffic and by keep your video player aligned with your brand you encourage promotion of your brand. Some features that you may want to include that you may not be able to incorporate using a free solution are, on-video watermark, animated logos, clickable logos and more.  With free solutions you may have limitations and it is imperative that you have the ability to customize past a certain point if needed.

A Video Player that protects your content: Copyright issues are becoming more prevalent every day. When creating original content, it is critical to prevent others from downloading that content and doing whatever they want with it. A good video player will provide protection and will use DRM technology to encrypt content.

A Video Player that provides analytics: Being able to see very clear analytics is in implementing an online video strategy. With some free solutions the analytics provided is limited. With a good video player you will be able to track views that show the play to impression ratio, and keep track of bandwidth and storage.

These components are just a few things to keep in mind when choosing a video player for your website. It is important to look at your company’s needs and see which option will be best for you. You can find more information and things to look for when choosing a video player in the Kaltura White Paper.

Note: DWG is a Kaltura partner but is also familiar and works with other adaptable platforms.